The first new resort to be built on Jensen Beach in more than two decades, Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa has brought a unique boutique experience to the Treasure Coast. Built on the site of a former defunct hotel, the resort’s comfortable oceanside accommodations are quickly making it a guest favorite. We spoke with longtime Jensen-area resident and Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa GM, Ed Griffith, about what guests can expect from Hutchinson Shores.
What made Jensen Beach the perfect spot for this resort?
Opal has another property, Jupiter Beach Resort, about a 40-minute drive south of here, so we know the location and that it was an ideal spot because Hutchinson Island is like an unspoiled paradise on the Treasure Coast. Unlike other coastal cities, it’s not overgrown or overbuilt. It’s a place for people to get away from the hustle and bustle of suburbia – so even when you go home, this is the kind of place you’ll want to return to time and again to relax your soul and recharge. We wanted to build a resort that would honor that feeling, and infuse the hotel with a local vibe.
How does the beach come alive in the resort?
The designers incorporated not only the water motif but also little things like how Jensen Beach has one of the highest populations of sea turtle nests along the Treasure Coast through turtle-themed touches. But I would say what really sets it apart is that the elements in the property are very tactile. There’s a perception of touch all around you, including the living walls of greenery as you walk into the building and the pebble walls near the restrooms. There are a couple dozen elements that make you want to reach out and touch. To us, coastal chic means natural woods, light colors, and getting the balance of light and sound right for the property. Local visitors are really pleased with the fact that we incorporated what the area is known for into the property – it’s not a cookie-cutter resort. The design is comfortable: not too ostentatious or upscale, but not too casual either. Guests feel very welcome.
What do you think makes guests feel so welcome?
A lot of times, you walk into a new property and you can’t touch this or sit there, and even the front desk is off-putting in the way that they talk to you. Here, it’s very warm and welcoming. We’ve even narrowed that feeling down to our own scent, so that when a guest comes back and walks in, they notice our custom NEST fragrance – ocean mist and sea salt – and they’re transported back to the other good times they’ve had here. It’s not overbearing; it’s as simple as a candle, but we wanted that element to embody the personal touches and warmth you get when you stay here.
What kinds of things can guests do?
We have 15 miles of pristine, all-natural beach that feels really private. Go get a tan, take a walk, go shell collecting, or get in the water and go surfing or any other sort of water sport. If you venture out a bit, there’s horseback riding on the beach farther north, kite surfing on the inlet, and paddleboarding on the Indian River that’s also very popular. There’s also bay fishing, and half-day and full-day charters.
How about off the beach – what can people do in town?
The PGA Village, with 54 holes of award-winning championship golf, is just 20 minutes away in St. Lucie. Eagle Marsh Golf Club is our closest golf course, just across the bride near US 1. There’s plenty of shopping, too. There’s a full-scale traditional mall, but if you venture into downtown Stuart, there are little chocolate shops, boutique clothing stores, a bunch of amazing restaurants, and the Lyric Theatre, a really cool, historic spot to see all sorts of shows. Downtown Jensen has a similar downtime vibe. Jammin’ Jensen is our own little take on an art walk every Thursday night, with live music and a festival atmosphere. There’s also The Elliott Museum, which has all sorts of things, including a huge car collection – you can actually hit a button, and the car is brought out to you on a conveyor belt. People love it.
What’s the spa like at Hutchinson Shores?
Our spa shares an excellent staff with the Jupiter Beach Resort. We offer everything from standard massages to body wraps to reflexology. What we really focus on is the tranquility – making sure the stress is relieved out of your muscles, and that you’re in an environment that is peaceful, comfortable, and puts you on a path to feeling great. It’s part of our larger mission to make sure you’re decompressed and as relaxed as can be.
What can diners expect from your on-site dining experience?
Drift Kitchen & Bar is an eclectic and trendy bar/restaurant. We have everything from a full-service bar, where craft cocktails are king, to an open-concept kitchen, where we make pizzas in an authentic brick oven, with hand-picked herbs, hand-selected mushrooms, handmade dough – the works. Around the corner, we also do pasta in full view that is all made by scratch. Seafood is huge, too. Some of our most popular entrées are the seafood, like the day boat scallops. Our menu is a good mix of fresh seafood, fresh pasta, and other items you’d expect at a restaurant, and done well. The focus for us is consistency. Sometimes, you go to a restaurant and have a dish that’s great the first time, but not the second time. We really, really strive to keep things at the highest quality at all times. That’s what will keep diners coming back.
Where to Stay Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa